The Red Room Company relies on the generous support of individuals, corporations, government funding bodies and philanthropic foundations.

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Visit our online store to purchase publications and materials from this project. The Red Room Company is a not-for-profit organisation. All funds raised support the ongoing work of The Red Room Company.

“The Unlocked program was excellent, and speaking on behalf of the resident participants, it was inspiring for them learning how to put their feelings into words and song. Everything was from the heart - the words put into the poems came directly from the heart and it will be remembered for the rest of their lives.” ~ Chris Walker - Bundjalung Elder - Balund-a mentor, 2016

Unlocked is an innovative creative literacy program developed and run by Red Room Poetry in collaboration with poets and educational staff from NSW Correctional Centres. The program unlocks the potential of inmates through the reflective and healing power of poetry, encouraging self-expression that helps people write and share their stories to reconnect with their families and communities.

Since 2010, Unlocked has worked with over 250 inmates, inviting Australian poets and rappers into Correctional Central to support intensive writing workshops, working with the students on every stage of the writing process, from the initial exercises and experimentations, through the editing and rewriting process, to recording, performing and publishing their work in meaningful ways. 

Unlocked 2017

Celebrating Red Room Poetry’s 20th Unlocked program, from July 31- Aug 3, 2017 participants at Balund-a (Tabulam) will work with Murri poet, Lionel Fogarty, Murri musician, Joe Geia, Bundjalung Elder Lewis Walker, as well as local artists Roy Gordon and Gilbert Laurie from ACE Community Colleges to create poetry, music and art for cultural celebrations at Balund-a. Poems and songs written during the week of workshops will be translated and recorded in Bundjalung with the support of local language holders and Elders. On August 3, the local community will visit Balund-a to celebrate the poetic, musical and artistic achievements of the participants in a NAIDOC - inspired event.  

Read the Unlocked Report

Why Unlocked

Poetry has the power to transform lives and create lasting positive social impact. Through poetic programs like Unlocked, we bring writing, music, art and translation together to improve literacy and expression for the students with the aim to begind healing and reduce recidivism. 

Click here to find out what to expect from an Unlocked program.

Positive Impact

"This creative education program works to enhance literacy and expression in its many forms. Through conversations with staff, facilitators and the participating residents in the weeks following, it has been noted that as a result of the Unlocked Poetry Project the residents engage with increased self-confidence, increased self-worth, improved communication skills and a revived passion towards the Arts as an outlet for dealing with emotion.   We look forward to future visits … adding to the holistic approach to breaking the cycle of offending.” ~ Rachel Soliman Operations Manager, Balund-a & Richard Heycock General Manager, Balund-a

Support Unlocked at Balund-a 2017

With your support, Unlocked will be run during NAIDOC week 2017 and will bring poets, visual artists and musicians to support the inmates and communities at Balund-a, NSW.

The Red Room Company Public Fund is a fund listed on the Register of Cultural Organisations and has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.


Donations of $2 or more to The Red Room Company in Australia are tax deductible for Australian tax-payers.

Buy an Unlocked Anthology

After each Unlocked program, student poems are collected into an anthology available via the Red Room Store for only $10. All proceeds support future Unlocked programs.

For more information

Contact Director, Dr Tamryn Bennett  02 9319 5090.